Tag Archive | alpha male

Review: How to Catch a Wild Viscount by Tessa Dare

How to Catch a Wild Viscount

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She’s on the hunt for a hero…

Luke Trenton, Viscount Merritt, returned from war a changed man. Battle stripped away his civility and brought out his inner beast. There is no charm or tenderness in him now; only dark passions and a hardened soul. He has nothing to offer the starry-eyed, innocent girl who pledged her heart to him four years ago.

But Cecily Hale isn’t a girl any longer. She’s grown into a woman—one who won’t be pushed away. She and Luke are guests at a house party when a local legend captures their friends’ imaginations. While the others plunge into the forest on a wild goose…er, stag chase, Cecily’s on the hunt for a man. She has only a few moonlit nights to reach the real Luke…the wounded heart she knows still beats inside the war-ravaged body…or she could lose him to the darkness forever.

This novella was previously published as The Legend of the Werestag

I’ve heard of Tessa Dare previously but How to Catch a Wild Viscount is the first book I’ve read by Ms Dare. Strangely enough, reading Lauren Dane’s The Best Kind of Trouble spurred me to read this short. The heroine, Natalie, in The Best Kind of Trouble is a librarian and Natalie recommended Tessa Dare to another character as a great historical romance read. I decided to read How to Catch a Wild Viscount next. So glad I did! It was a good read!

Tessa Dare’s author note for How to Catch a Wild Viscount states that this was her first published work. I don’t know if it was reworked any but this was a rather cute story – and if her first published work is this polished…I need to grab more! There are some parts that give a “dated” impression but on the whole this story is a very solid and very enjoyable read.
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Review: Once Burned (Night Prince #1) by Jeaniene Frost

Once Burned

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She’s a mortal with dark powers…
After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…

He’s the Prince of Night…
Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

I think I know how the heroine of Once Burned, Leila, feels: I don’t really know how I feel about Vlad. He’s scary, he’s handsome, he impales people, he’s sexy. He’s a freaking scary ass, incredibly sexy, horribly arrogant and domineering man…and I decided to re-read Once Burned in honor of the soon to be released movie Dracula Untold. The handsome man on the cover even has a passing resemblance to the actor playing Dracula in the upcoming movie.
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DNF Review: Dangerous Secrets (Dangerous #2) by Lisa Marie Rice

Dangerous Secrets

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Small-town librarian Charity Prewitt never dreamed she’d meet and fall in love with a man like Nicholas Ames. The handsome, rich, charming, sexy-as-hell millionaire blew into tiny Parker’s Ridge, Vermont, and immediately rocked her world. Powerful, sensual, the perfect man, Nick knows all the right words—and all the right spots to touch, sending her soaring to dizzying new heights of ecstatic abandon. Never before has prim and proper Charity leapt into bed with a perfect stranger—and now that she’s there with him, nothing is going to drag her away!

But Nick Ames is not who he claims to be. In truth, he is Nicholas Ireland—the one they call “Iceman.” A former Delta Force operator, now a high-level undercover agent, he will do whatever his government asks of him—lie, seduce, betray . . . even kill, if necessary—for the sake of the mission. And this time his mission is Charity Prewitt.

Suddenly one woman has broken down his chilly restraint and ignited his passions completely. And before the erotic dream turns into a nightmare, will Charity be able to melt the Iceman’s cold, cold heart?

Dangerous Secrets is the ninth (9) book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the second book in the Dangerous series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $9.99. I was already aware of the author and the series prior to joining Scribd.

I had to stop around 25% and then I skimmed the rest. This one was really hard for me because it included a trope I despise and it had a bad guy with an extremely compelling and sad backstory.

The bad guy in Dangerous Secrets, Vassily, is a broken man. He was a young, famous and idealistic writer in Russia directly after the fall of the Soviet Union. He and his beloved, a beautiful poet named Katya, were at home in bed when they were arrested by the secret police for no reason and given no trial.
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Review: Goddess in the Middle (Forgotten Goddesses #3) by Stephanie Julian

Goddess in the Middle
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“Incredibly erotic, unconventional, romantic love story”

TOGETHER. THEY CREATE THE MOST POWERFUL MAGIC OF ALL …

Romulus and Remus are sexy werewolf cousins with an unbreakable bond. When they meet beautiful goddess Amity and save her from an encroaching demon, they discover that the three of them together are way more powerful than any of them could ever have imagined. And they’re going to need that power to overcome the forces that are determined to steal Amity’s magic and destroy the two men. As different as night and day, and each an amazing man in his own right, Rom and Remy make all of Amity’s deepest fantasies come true…

Goddess in the Middle is the eighth (8) book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the third (and final?) book in the Forgotten Goddesses series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $10.09. Stephanie Julian is a new to me (NTM) author that I discovered using the Scribd recommendation engine.

So. I’ve finally finished the Forgotten Goddesses series. I think. The reason I said “I think” is because the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger regarding some events not related to the romance or the overarching plot of the series. I *think* the loose ends are related to events that are attached to other series by Julian set in this same world. I think.
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Review: Cat’s First Kiss (Forgotten Goddesses #2.5) by Stephanie Julian

Cat's First Kiss

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A short visit with Cat

Since taking on the powers of the Etruscan Goddess of the Moon, Catene’s life has been upended. Her parents don’t know how to help her. And Tivr, Etruscan God of the Moon, has seemingly deserted her. Amazing what a first kiss can do.

This story takes place after HOW TO WORSHIP A GODDESS and before GODDESS IN THE MIDDLE

 

 

This is a short (very short!) interlude in the Forgotten Goddesses series. I purchased this one myself as it was not available via Scribd.

I was not too happy about this short. I was expecting short but I wasn’t expecting what I got: 14 pages and atrocious formatting.

Cat’s First Kiss takes place after How to Worship a Goddess where Cat takes over the mantle of Goddess of the Moon. During How to Worship a Goddess the reader learns that Cat is destined to become the new Goddess of the Moon as well as the fated mate of the God of the Moon (Lucy’s son from How to Worship a Goddess). During that book the reader also learns that Tivr was avoiding Cat because she was so young and he is a couple hundred years older. Of course, none of this was explained to Cat. She was simply hurt that someone she loved so much was actively avoiding her.

The story is a total of about 14 pages. My book was so badly formatted that it shows up as 130+ pages: there was about 1 paragraph per page. 😦 The constant need to flip pages made me want more story. Which I did not get.

Other things I did not get in this story: any real discussion between Tivr and Cat. No, let me back track that a bit. NO real discussion between Tivr and Cat. He asks her to forgive him for being an ass, they kiss and it was over. That’s it. So yeah, I was expecting at least a little more – especially with all the loose ends left dangling around from How to Worship a Goddess.

Another thing I want to rant about: the cover. OMFG. I am so sick to death of this same freaking couple on every freaking NA romance that has ever NA’d (the books Easy, Reckless, the entire Devoured series, Walking Disaster, etc). Enough! The guy on the cover is turning into the Fabio of NA romance. And it’s driving me batty.

Review: How to Worship a Goddess (Forgotten Goddesses #2) by Stephanie Julian

WorshipAGoddes

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WHAT SHE’S ALWAYS WANTED, AND SHE UNLEASHES HIM LIKE A FORCE OF NATURE…
Lucy was once the beloved Goddess of the Moon, and she could have any man she wanted. But these days, the goddesses of the Etruscan pantheon are all but forgotten. The only rituals she enjoys now are the local hockey games, where one ferociously handsome player still inflames her divine blood…

Brandon Stevenson is one hundred percent focused on the game, until he looks up and sees a celestial beauty sitting in the third row. A man could surely fall hard for a distraction like that…

 

 
How to Worship a Goddess is the seventh book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the second book in the Forgotten Goddesses series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $10.09. Stephanie Julian is a new to me (NTM) author that I discovered using the Scribd recommendation engine.

I really enjoyed this second entry into the Forgotten Goddesses series. I liked both the hero and the heroine and that the problems facing the couple were more related to their relationship than the outside pressure of the same god (Charun) who harassed Tessa in What a Goddess Wants.

Sadly, How to Worship a Goddess has a similar issue to What a Goddess Wants: the really problematic meet-cute. Brandon, the hero, has noticed Lucy (heroine and season ticket holder) at his hockey games for a long time, fantasizing about her. One day he decides he’s going to meet her so he goes to the ticket office and begs her address from her customer file. Let’s just start by saying that this is hella wrong. It turns out that Lucy used a fake address for her season ticket application…so Brandon manages to to locate her by digging around: he eventually finds a deed in her name with no address but he finds the latitude and longitude degrees and plugs them into his GPS. And he just shows up.
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Review: Dangerous Lover (Dangerous #1) by Lisa Marie Rice

Dangerous Lover

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“I don’t want to be alone tonight.”

Caroline Lake can hardly believe she would ever say these words to someone she’d never met before. When a tall, dark stranger arrives wanting to rent a room in her beautiful empty shell of a mansion, she hesitates. Though she is in dire financial straits, the man looks dangerous—dangerously sexy. She’s overwhelmed by the desire he sparks in her—hotter than anything she’s ever felt before, making her ache to experience his sensuous touch. But who is this armed and mysterious man with danger following in his wake? He’s not who she thinks he is . . .

Jack Prescott has wanted Caroline forever. He has spent the past twelve years dreaming of her, desiring her, while fighting in some of the worst hellholes on earth. Now he’s back, with twenty million dollars in blood diamonds and a relentless enemy stalking him. But this time Jack’s determined that nothing will stop him from finally making Caroline his.

Dangerous Lover is the fifth book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the first book in the Dangerous series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $9.99. I was already aware of the author and the series prior to joining Scribd.

I am pretty well acquainted with Lisa Marie Rice and her characters/style of writing. While I can often find things about her characters/style of writing that bother me – more often than not I am interested and entertained by her work.

Which is why I’m so surprised that this one really didn’t work too well for me at all.

Dangerous Lover is the fifth (?) book I’ve read by Lisa Marie Rice and the second book I’ve read in her Dangerous series (the first was Dangerous Passion). Like the rest of her books, the hallmarks of an LMR book were all there: damsel-in-distress, wealthy but deadly hero, obsession by the hero, short time frame, dainty heroine, large hero. These I expected.

What I did not expect is the…complete lack of real relationship building or real discussion. Or the imbecilic plot-arc of the villain.
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Review: Back In The Italian’s Bed by Annie West

Back In The Italian's Bed

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No woman walks away from billionaire Fabrizio Armati’s bed. No woman except Jenna MacDonald. Now he’ll stop at nothing to get her back, and keep her there.

It’s love at first sight for Jenna when charismatic hotelier Fabrizio Armati sweeps her off her feet in Venice. That chance encounter sparks a sizzling affair that lasts until she discovers Fabrizio sees her as no more than a convenient, expendable mistress. Then her world falls apart.

Six months later Jenna tells herself she’s moved on. Until Fabrizio walks into a meeting to find her working for his greatest rival. She’s about to discover just how far he’ll go to get her back in his bed.

When revenge turns to passion, will surrender be on his terms, or hers?

This is a – without a doubt – 100% pure Harlequin Presents (HP) style novella. Even the title. And I ate it up, lol. It makes sense – Annie West has written many a Harlequin Presents.

So, you have the basic structure of a category romance: millionaire/billionaire ruthless business tycoon and lots of emotional angst. What made Back in the Italian’s Bed different is that Jenna has a little spunk. Fabrizio swept her off her feet but she left him when she realized he couldn’t [wouldn’t] give her what she needed (love). When the two meet again, she falls back into his bed but is still willing to leave him and make a new life for herself. That’s not the typical HP style – normally the woman would have eaten her heart out over hero.

Back in the Italian’s Bed is a pretty short story/novella – about 65 pages – and that’s the only downside of the book for me. The shortness of the word count didn’t allow for the full range of angst that you get from HP style novels. But don’t get it twisted, Jenna spends much time castigating herself for her attraction to Fabrizio. I have to admit that while HPs aren’t really my thing now, I have fond memories of gobbling them up by the bag-full. I am intrigued to read more of Annie West’s work.

Book Review: Parlor Games Anthology – Border Lord by Julia Templeton

Parlor Games

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Fleeing an unfaithful fiancé, a nubile young lovely finds herself the prisoner of a lustful Scottish laird and must bow to his every erotic whim.

 
Parlor Games is the third book I’ve read using my Scribd trial. Scribd introduced me to Jess Michaels via the book Everything Forbidden – and suggested this title since I read Everything Forbidden. As of today this book is on sale at Kobo for $9.99.

Border Lord reminds me a lot of the book Warlord by Jaid Black. Both stories are situated in Scotland and both books contain unsuspecting time traveling heroines from the future. Strangely enough, I find that I prefer Warlord to Border Lord even though Warlord is much older and is a little more corny. There’s another time-traveling Scottish Lord story I read that was similar to this one as well but I can’t remember the title. That one also starred a cheating fiance, IIRC.

With that being said….there’s not a lot to Border Lord. It’s ok. It’s entertaining-ish. I enjoyed it for the most part but since I’ve read better with this same set up…I wasn’t as impressed as I expected to be. Border Lord is short and to the point without much more to recommend it.

2.5 Stars

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Current Price of Book: $9.99
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Review: Everything Forbidden (Albright Sisters #1) by Jess Michaels

Everything Forbidden

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YOUR DAYS AND NIGHTS WILL BELONG TO ME

For summers Miranda Albright has watched—aghast, yet shamefully titillated—as her wicked neighbor Ethan Hamon, the notorious Earl of Rothschild, “entertained” a succession of lovers on the grounds of his estate. Now that her father has passed on, leaving behind a mountain of debt, Miranda must do the unthinkable. For Ethan has promised to sponsor her younger sisters, financially and socially, at a scandalously dear price: Miranda must offer herself to him completely for three full months, with no remorse and no restraints.

Ninety days and nights of unbridled sensuality await her in the arms of a rogue who views her submission as no more than a grand erotic game. But neither Miranda nor Ethan realize that fire blazes behind her innocent blush. And once her passion is unleashed by his lips and his touch, it is the student who will school the teacher in the ways of forbidden pleasure … and love.

 

Everything Forbidden is the second book I read using my Scribd trial, introducing me to Jess Michaels. As of today this book is on sale at Kobo for $9.99. I have to admit that I would have never read this book without the Scribd membership – the price is waaay to high for my blood – especially for a NTM author.

I’m not really sure what to say about it – the blurb covers it all pretty well, lol. I did like this one – I liked it quite a bit. My enjoyment was less about the plot and more about the execution, however – which was close to flawless.

The sex was steamy, the heroine was likeable and the hero wasn’t an alphole. What more can a girl ask for in an historical erotic romance? As a character, Miranda was quite interesting and rather brave – but she didn’t have any stand out characteristics that made her particularly memorable past the reading of the text. Ethan was the same – great for the read but not a “dreamy” hero that I pondered about or squeed over. Marianda’s sisters, Penelope and Beatrice, and her mother left a more lasting impression to me – but only because the impression was decidedly negative.

There’s no tension in the book – no push and pull between the H/h and very little (read: none) sexual tension. Even the final Big Mis was resolved very quickly and with no on page tension. I like a little tension in my romances…

I enjoyed the final ending – no epilogue – when the “I love yous” were said. I thought it was tooth-achingly sweet but it worked for the couple.

 

 

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Total Books Read: 2
Current Price of Book: $9.99
Total Cost of Books read: $11.98
Total Amount Saved: -$14.99 (price of all books read minus price of service ($26.97))